It’s hard to believe that Big Beauty was able to convince billions of people that they have to use sunscreen every day or die.
But their whole sales pitch is built on a huge myth…
They want you to believe Mother Nature made a deadly mistake when she designed human skin. They want you to think the sun is your skin’s biggest enemy. And only their toxic chemicals can save you.
Nothing could be further from the truth…
Your skin is perfectly designed for life on Earth. Our native ancestors survived and thrived outdoors. They lived and worked in the sun’s rays every day. They didn’t use sunscreen and they didn’t burn themselves to a crisp or die off from diseases caused by the sun.
But the trick is to have healthy skin from the inside. Well-nourished skin knows how to respond to sunlight. It resists the formation of sunspots, wrinkles and dry skin.
And healthy skin on the inside shows up as radiant, glowing skin on the outside.
One of the best nutrients for healthy sun-kissed skin is a little-known fat. It’s called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is one of the essential fatty acids (EFA). They’re called essential because your body can’t make them. You have to get them from food or supplements.
Studies prove that when you don’t have enough fats like GLA, it shows in your skin…
If you have a GLA deficiency, your skin defenses shut down. Moisture starts to escape from your epidermis. Free radical damage builds up. You get age spots and freckling. You get dry, scaly skin and wrinkles. Collagen and elastin start to break down.1 In other words, your skin ages long before it should.
Essential fatty acids like GLA can restore your skin’s ability to protect yourself from UV rays.
Research shows people who eat more foods high in EFAs have more youthful skin and less sun damage. In one study of 453 women 70 and older, those who ate more foods with EFA-rich foods had less wrinkling on the backs of their hands.2
In a placebo-controlled trial, researchers gathered 45 women (aged 18 to 65 years old) with dry and sensitive skin. They were assigned to one of three groups. Every day one group took 2.2 grams of borage oil rich in GLA. A second group took 2.2 grams of flaxseed oil, which is rich in another essential fatty acid. The third group took a placebo. After 12 weeks the flax and borage groups had much less inflammation compared to people who took a placebo. They also had much less water loss, roughness and scaling.3
The best EFA-rich foods include salmon, eggs, walnuts, sardines and albacore tuna. But it’s hard to get enough GLA in your foods. That’s why I recommend supplements.
Take These 3 Oils to Prevent and Heal Sun Damage from the Inside Out
- Borage Seed Oil. This Mediterranean plant (Borago officinalis) is also called the starflower. A whopping 15% to 22% of the oil from its seeds is pure GLA. That makes it the best source of GLA compared to other seed oils.
Borage stimulates skin cell activity. And it encourages skin regeneration. It also treats all kinds of skin problems like allergies and dermatitis. In one study, 29 people with a mean age of 68.6 years took a daily dose of 360 mg or 720 mg of borage oil. After two months, their moisture loss dropped by 10.8%. Dry skin dropped by almost 30%. And it reduced itchy skin by 100%.4
Look for cold-pressed organic borage seed oil in your local health food store or online. A good starting dose is around 500 mg a day. You can gradually go up to 2,000 mg. Results can take several weeks up to several months to fully kick in.
And if you’re pregnant I would avoid borage oil since it could potentially induce labor. It can also act as a blood thinner, so consult with your doctor if you’re on blood thinning drugs.
- Evening Primrose Oil. Like borage, evening primrose has a high GLA content at 9%. In one study, adults given evening primrose oil (oenothera biennis) improved their skin health in several ways. It significantly improved skin moisture, water loss, elasticity, firmness and roughness.5
Evening primrose oil is available in capsules or softgels in most health food stores. Take 500 mg two or three times a day with meals. You should start to see results in six to eight weeks.
- Black Currant Seed Oil. The seeds of this fruit are also rich in GLA. The entire plant promotes healthy growth of skin, hair and nails.
Black currant (Ribes nigrum) has potent anti-aging powers. It contains high levels of antioxidants — more than five times as much vitamin C as an orange. It conditions rough skin and leaves it soft and smooth. It also helps repair sunburned skin. And it rejuvenates and revives mature skin.
Look for extracts or oil in liquids or capsules. Take 500 mg twice a day for at least two months to see the best results.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Genovese L, et al. “An insight into the changes in skin texture and properties following dietary intervention with a nutricosmeceutical containing a blend of collagen bioactive peptides and antioxidants.” Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2017;30(3):146-158.
2. Purba MB, et al. “Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference?” J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;20:71-80.
3. De Spirt S, et al. “Intervention with flaxseed and borage oil supplements modulates skin condition in women.” Br J Nutr. 2009;101:440-445.
4. Brosche T, Platt D. “Effect of borage oil consumption on fatty acid metabolism, transepidermal water loss and skin parameters in elderly people.” Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2000;30(2):139-150.
5. Muggli R. “Systemic evening primrose oil improves the biophysical skin parameters of healthy adults,” Int. J. Cosmet. Sci. 2005;27(4):243-249